29/01/2021 - News

Clearwater International’s European Debt Advisory team raises €3bn of debt finance during 2020

Company meeting discussion 1

The European Debt Advisory team at mid-market advisory firm Clearwater International raised €3bn in debt finance during 2020 completing 34 transactions across Europe. This debt was utilised by European businesses to support acquisition activity, refinance existing debt facilities, re-align capital structures and support organic growth.

Healthcare, TMT and business services transactions made up 62% of activity during 2020

The debt space has undoubtedly experienced the changing landscape during 2020 and the scope of work for the Clearwater team has flexed to suit the needs of clients. During the initial impact of the pandemic the European Debt Advisory team were focussed on supporting businesses to stabilise liquidity and the impact of the pandemic on businesses. However, once the M&A market picked up again in Q3 2020 and some stability returned, the debt market shifted its focus to deploying capital especially in sectors that have proven to be resilient such as healthcare, TMT and business services.

These trends were reflected in the Debt Advisory team’s results, with healthcare, TMT and business services transactions making up 62% of activity during 2020. The team continued to showcase their strength in the industrials and chemicals sector with the team completing deals with a value of €1.8bn in this sector alone.

The UK team experienced another busy year with key deals for the team including advising Day Lewis Plc, a community pharmacy and distribution business, on a refinancing deal which provides a €141m (£125m) revolving credit facility to support the business’ steady growth trajectory. Most recently, the team were involved in the €110m merger of Lomond Capital and Linley & Simpson whereby the team arranged acquisition facilities to support further growth.

The German team have also seen key successes during 2020 including the largest refinancing of the year for Wieland-Werke AG (Wieland Group) totalling €1.7bn. The team advised Wieland Group on the structuring and arrangement of a syndicated loan for the refinancing of its bridge financing for the acquisition of US-based Global Brass and Copper Holdings, as well as its existing syndicated loan and the issuance of mid and long-term promissory notes. The French team also continued their successes in debt advisory, advising Naxicap Partners on the acquisition and financing of Eureka Education, a private professional and higher education provider.

The lending environment in the mid-market across Europe is showing signs of returning to pre-COVID levels which means there is a range of debt solutions and structures available to corporates. The competitive environment experienced in previous years returned in late summer of 2020, with sufficient debt appetite and capacity available to support growth across the European market.

Mark Taylor BG2

Mark Taylor, Managing Partner and International Head of Debt Advisory, commented:

“The European Debt Advisory team have had another exceptional year under the circumstances. The team has continued to grow and the demand for both debt financing, and pragmatic advice, has spread wider across our European offices with more countries offering dedicated debt advisory services to clients.”

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